Lizzo removes ableist slur in new song Grrrls: ‘I’m dedicated to being part of the change’

Lizzo might feel fussy while walking in her Balenci-ussy’s, but not when it comes to listening to her fans. 

On Tuesday (Jun 14), the 34-year-old singer also known as Melissa Jefferson shared a message on her Twitter and Instagram pages. She made note of how social media users had pointed out that her new song Grrrls contained a derogatory term which was offensive to people with disabilities. 

What was the lyric in question? In the original version of the two-minute track, you would’ve heard her sing “I’mma spaz”, roughly around the 12-second mark. 

The shortened version of the pejorative term “spastic” is used against people with cerebral palsy. Also known in some cases as spastic diplegia, the condition causes difficulty in movements such as weak muscles and tremors. 

In her social media messages, Lizzo, who’s seen as an advocate for body positivity and self-confidence, said: “Let me make one thing clear: I never want to promote derogatory language. 

“As a fat black woman in America, I’ve had many hurtful words used against me so I overstand the power words can have.” 

The singer also announced in the post that she re-released Grrrls with a lyric change. The offending lyric was removed, and in its place is “Hold me back” instead. 

She added: “This is the result of me listening and taking action. As an influential artist I’m dedicated to being part of the change I’ve been wanting to see in the world.” 

Most fans on Lizzo’s social media pages took to comments and replies to praise her decision and quick action – the song was only released on Jun 10, with the update coming out four days after. 

Fans with disabilities or disabled family and friends similarly thanked her for her “continued love and solidarity”, while some others pointed out the quick change to question artistes whom they felt doubled down on using derogatory language instead of holding themselves accountable. 

The new version of Grrrls has already replaced the original on streaming platforms such as YouTube and Spotify.

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